You might think lining a big, metal, pot-like container with some plastic is as easier as it sounds. In reality, it’s a rather fiddly and tedious process that if not completed correctly, can cause a multitude of headaches for both commercial and industrial tank owners. The surface underneath is generally only as good as the liner coating it, meaning an ill-attempted liner application could be that Jenga-like piece that ‘collapses’ or compromises your entire system. Precision lining is required for a coating to be and stay truly effective throughout a tank’s lifespan, attributing to its overall performance making for smooth-sailing tank ownership. Take a more in-depth look below at the importance of using the best suited liner for your application, how they should be installed and the consequences of short cuts sometimes taken by the inadequately trained
Why Liners Are Essential?
Installing a tank liner that is tear or puncture proof is crucial to maintaining the quality and integrity of what the tank’s containing. Whether it’s potable water, a fire water source or some sort of chemical, a high quality barrier between substance and surface is a must-have. While we don’t mean to be the bear of bad news, outlining what can go wrong as a result of a poorly-lined membrane is important to understand just how critical liners are
Here’s what you’re saving your tank from by installing a high-performance liner:
Severe corrosion leading to leaks and contamination Unnecessary downtime – Smaller, less significant failures develop into performance-threatening repair jobs potentially seeing your tanks out of order for extended periods. A whole range of operationally restrictive damages and compliance dilemmas can stem from frequent outages. Premature total tank failure – The quality of the tank’s containment capabilities become compromised cutting its life expectancy by many years.
What Goes Into A Successful Tank Liner Installation?
Tank liner applications aren’t as straightforward and one-dimensional as they appear. This is arguably the most critical phase of preparing a commercial tank and cutting corners is simply never on the cards. A seamless, error-free lining consists of an experienced professional nailing a six-part installation process including:
Choosing the perfect liner – What the tank’s containing including its chemical composition, its intended process cycle, required cleaning procedures and much more must be considered before selecting and wrapping up a tank in its ideal liner.
Correctly preparing the tank’s surface – This stage is crucial. Without a properly prepared interior, edges, welds or other tiny debris on a poorly cleaned interior will likely see you arranging a new liner installation pretty quickly.
Skilled application – Lining a tank is usually a one-shot deal with consulting an expert team being the only real sure-fire path to liner performance peace of mind. Industry standard compliance is also a must-have.
Getting curing conditions just right – A chemical reaction occurs during a lining application that uses temperature and timing to enhance a liner’s chemical resistance. Failing to ensure curing and process conditions are correctly applied could mean the difference between a liner lasting months or years.
Pre-sign off inspection – A quality assessment needs to be carried out to finalise a proper and safe tank lining installation. Rigorous testing of the adhesion is critical before even considering filling the tank, as corrections are almost impossible to make following a premature fill. Rectifying lining issues here is also significantly less costly than after a complete failure.
Ongoing routine maintenance – A neglected liner is a disaster waiting to happen. Ensure you’re arranging professional maintenance and repair services immediately after discovering a change in performance quality.
Selecting An Appropriate Liner For Your Tank. Most industrial grade tank liners are supplied in three types and are used in different applications for a number of reasons. Each material and product type has its advantages, which is why it’s imperative to consult a professional before making any purchasing decisions. For example, some tank liners will feature anti-bacterial properties, more suitable for potable water tanks rather than a chemical application. Waste water storage units will require more complex compositions to withstand a spectrum of temperatures and pressures
Here are the three primarily liner products protecting the majority of commercial liquid storage units across Australia:
– Polypropylene – Great for use in the harshest of environments where outdoor tanks are susceptible to a range of weather conditions. They’re highly abrasion-resistant and ideal for both indoor and outdoor tanks amongst extreme cold and hot climates. A durable alternative to conventional rubber linings. The solvent-free lining makes for a highly safe application process.
– Fluoropolymers – A low friction coefficient liner. Ultra-strong and made to best suit extreme heat. They’re incredibly versatile and can also be used to line piping and other transportation containers.
– Epoxy Coatings – Epoxy linings are available in a range of formulations and suitable to be used in tanks containing chemicals. Pin-hole leaks are easily detectable and they’re also very moisture-tolerant. Some boast eco-friendly compositions and are widely used as a high temperature protectant.
– Vinyl Ester – A vinyl liner that’s highly chemical resistant especially amongst environments where temperatures fluctuate dramatically and where chemicals change during storage.
– Tank Types and Their Problem Areas
Much like their uses, liquid storage tanks and their systems have their weaknesses, some wearing out or failing more easily than others due to both their applications and materials.
Liners are fitted to substantially slow the deterioration of a tank’s interior surface regardless of its type. However, there are noticeable key areas of failure in certain tanks which is all the more reason to ensure your chosen liner provides effective assistance in corrosion and contamination prevention.
Steel Tanks – Corrosion is the number one cause and problem area of metal/panel tanks. It’s the double-whammy of all water tank issues as not only does it result in water loss, but your water or chemical source will also likely be contaminated.
Concrete Water Tanks – Ground movement enables small cracks to appear in the tank’s exterior walls. When soil frequently transitions between extreme wet and dry exposure, we tend to see excessive clay movement.
Plastic Water Tanks – Split seams or deterioration of the plastic materials cracks surfaces and initiates leaks among plastic water tanks. Though repairable, often frequent maintenance on surface joints is likely.
Wooden/Brick-based Tanks – While these tanks are rather uncommon, similar to concrete tank structures, ground movement easily allows cracks to form and leaks to worsen.
Fibreglass Tanks – Ground/soil movement is the main issue causing leakages.
Raven Tanks Are Here To Help
With a vast number of options and no two liner projects rarely being similar, it’s difficult to determine on your own what type of liner you’ll need and a cost estimate. Raven Tanks specialise in professional liner installation saving dozens of commercial and industrial clients substantially on potential refurbishment costs or in some cases, complete tank rebuilds.
All tank types age and none last forever, though a tough, tried and tested tank liner product from a reputable supplier will prolong periods prior to urgent repairs being required
What’s to learn from this?
Every tank and its application requires a protective tank lining membrane to ensure you’re getting the most out of your liquid storage system. Corrosion is amongst the top problems when it comes to keeping tanks online and storing liquid in accordance with an industry’s operational nature. As with most stages of installation and repairs, prevention is always at the core of continuous, hassle-free tank use and consulting a fully certified, licensed and insured liner installer from Raven Tanks will guarantee a job well done
Contact the Raven Tanks team for an inspection and to find out if any repair works or a liner replacement is necessary for your commercial or industrial water tanks.